Summary: Here in the passage before us, we see how the flesh is the enemy of God’s calling.
Chapter 20: Gideon’s Present Consumed by Fire
17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.
18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present (or, meat offering), and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again.
19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid (Heb. a kid of the goats), and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it.
20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so.
21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.
22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face.
23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.
24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom (that is, The LORD send peace): unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.
25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it:
26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock (Heb. strong place), in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.
27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.
28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built.
29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.
30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.
31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.
32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal (that is, Let Baal plead), saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar.
17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.--Judges 6:17 (KJV)
17 Gideon said to him, “If you find me acceptable, give me a sign that it is really you speaking to me.--Judges 6:17 (GW)
Here in the passage before us, we see how the flesh is the enemy of God’s calling, which cannot be won over without signs.
And he said unto him, if now I have found grace in thy sight. That is a conclusion we might come to from the salutation given to him as a man of might (v. 12), by the work he gave him a commission to do (v. 14), and by the promise of assistance and success (v. 16).
Then show me a sign that thou talkest with me. You see, Gideon was not yet sure whether the one he was talking to was an angel or a man; therefore, what he says is essentially this, “In the name of God, as a messenger sent by him, show me that what you have said was truth, and will certainly be fulfilled.” Gideon might desire reassurance, not so much, or at least not only for his own sake, and the confirmation of his faith, for which he is renowned, but there is a better reason, and that is, that he might be able to satisfy others that he had a commission from God that was delivered by a messenger of His, fo him to attempt the deliverance of Israel.